India has decided to bypass Bangladesh and import natural gas directly from Burma after a year-long stalemate in talks.
The state-owned Gas Authority of India Limited has asked a private company to conduct feasibility studies for the transport gas from two Burmese offshore facilities to the eastern Indian city of Patna.
The step was taken after Burma threatened to sell its natural gas to other countries unless India reached a deal with Bangladesh to run a pipeline through its territory.
India said Bangladesh had demanded conditions unrelated to the pipeline, such as duty-free access of its goods and a transit facility for its goods shipped to Nepal and Bhutan.
If feasibility studies are positive, construction will begin on the pipeline this year, with gas delivery beginning in 2009.